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Spike in Nebraska unemployment claims amid coronavirus outbreak a precursor of things to come

Spike in Nebraska unemployment claims amid coronavirus outbreak a precursor of things to come

New claims for unemployment in Nebraska spiked 59% last week, a precursor of a flood of out-of-work Nebraskans pushed onto unemployment rolls because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The spike in initial unemployment claims in Nebraska — to 799, up from 503 the previous week — by percentage was almost double the 33% spike seen nationally. The Nebraska percentage increase was also the biggest weekly bump seen in the state since a one-week spike in August last year.

It’s also expected to be just the beginning. This week, thousands of Nebraskans who work in restaurants, bars and retail stores were thrown out of work by restrictions on public gatherings that are intended to slow the spread of the deadly virus.

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The Nebraska Department of Labor does not release daily jobless benefit claims. But in Ohio, in just two days this week, 48,000 people applied for benefits, up from just 2,000 the previous week. Pennsylvania had 70,000 claims in a single day, six times the total from the previous week. Nebraska is sure to be similarly slammed.

Nationwide, initial claims last week jumped to 281,000 from 210,000.

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Reporter - Metro News

Henry is a general assignment reporter, but his specialty is deep dives into state issues and public policy. He's also into the numbers behind a story, yet to meet a spreadsheet he didn't like. Follow him on Twitter @HenryCordes. Phone: 402-444-1130.

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